Neesham A Great Fit
The star-studded Guyana Amazon Warriors departed Guyana on Tuesday for Grenada for their first of nine preliminary games in the second edition of the Limacol Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 tournament.
The Warriors, who lost to the Jamaica Tallawahs in the finals of the inaugural tournament last year, is captained by Trinidad and Tobago and West Indies test skipper Denesh Ramdin and boasts the likes of Pakistan’s Mohammed Hafeez, Trinidad’s Sunil Narine, Lendl Simmons and Navin Stewart, New Zealand’s Martin Guptill and James Neesham, Jamaica’s Krishmar Santokie, Guyana’s Christopher Barnwell, Veerasammy Permaul, Ronsford Beaton, Steven Jacobs, Leon Johnson, Trevon Griffith and Robin Bacchus.
The majority of the 15-man squad spent the last seven days at a preparatory camp under Head Coach Roger Harper. Prior to the team’s departure at the Grand Coastal Hotel, Harper indicated how pleased he was heading into this year’s tournament.
“We got close last year and we want to do even better this year, looking forward to winning this championship. I am very happy how the camp went. The players responded very well. They were very enthusiastic and I am very happy how things went,” Harper stressed.
Further when questioned regarding the replacement of Corey Anderson, Harper said, “We could not have asked for a better replacement for Corey. Jimmy is a great fit for the Amazon Warriors, and we look forward to seeing the excellent form he displayed in the recent Test series continuing in the CPL.”
Neesham replaced his countryman Anderson, who withdrew from the tournament due his fitness.
On the other hand, the former West Indies vice captain expects Jamaican seamer Krishmar Santokie to play a key role in the Guyana Amazon Warriors outfit. Left-armer Santokie has emerged as one of the more exciting bowlers in the region in the game’s shortest form, and Harper said it was important that the Warriors retained the player from last year.
“Krishmar Santokie is a hugely valuable asset to my team. He is an intelligent and determined player and I am very happy to have retained him,” Harper remarked.
Santokie was at the forefront of the West Indies attack at the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh earlier this year. He subsequently turned out for Mumbai Indians in the lucrative Indian Premier League.
During the draft at Chris Gayle’s Triple Century Bar in Jamaica in April, the Guyana Amazon Warriors retained the services of 10 players from last year’s tournament, namely Pakistan’s all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez, New Zealander Martin Guptill, Trinidadians off-spinner Sunil Narine, opening batsman Lendl Simmons and wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin, Jamaican Krishmar Santokie and Guyanese Christopher Barnwell, Steven Jacobs, Veerasammy Permaul and Trevon Griffith.
The newcomers this year are Guyanese Leon Johnson, Ronsford Beaton and Robin Bacchus, Trinidad and Tobago fast-bowling all-rounder Navin Stewart and New Zealander all-rounder James Neesham.
After the game on Friday, the Guyana franchise, which was bought by the NEW GPC INC, under its Limacol brand, will then play three of their nine preliminary games at home, on July 17 against Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel (19:30h), July 19 against St Lucia Zouks (16:00h) and July 20 against Jamaica Tallawahs (16:00h).
The local franchise will play Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel on July 24; Barbados Tridents on July 27; Jamaica Tallawahs on August 2; Antigua Hawksbills on August 7; and St Lucia Zouks on August 10 in their final preliminary game.
Jamaica Tallawahs won the inaugural tournament when they defeated Guyana Amazon Warriors by seven wickets in the final in Trinidad and Tobago on August 24 last.